Pentagon Pauses Training for All 5,000 Saudi Troops in US

Officials promise thorough review after Pensacola shooting

While Pentagon officials had previously insisted that the Pensacola shooting would not have any serious impact on the US hosting Saudi military personnel, it seems that a review of security and screening is going to have a much bigger impact than anyone expected.

A new memo revealed that the Pentagon will be entirely pausing the training of Saudi troops on US military bases, and that this amounts to about 5,000 troops all told. Officials say they can have classroom training, but nothing operational.

This is a substantial step up from a report earlier in the day from the US Navy, which announced 175 Saudi Air Force personnel were being grounded at Pensacola base for the time being.

Though Pentagon officials downplayed it as a brief “safety stand-down,” the impact looks particularly broad, and is an uncomfortable reminder that the large presence of Saudi personnel in US is being facilitated by particularly lax standards.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.